Max’s Back Pocket Vol. XIV

The Max Out of Pocket crew had another productive week. Mrs. Max OOP closed out the school year remotely. It is officially summer break. I’m jealous, but math teachers deserve a break.

I finished a huge project at the hospital that has been bogging me down for three weeks. Everything was submitted yesterday. My gym opened back up 6/1/2020 by appointment only. There are lots of new rules in place and they are doing the best they can. Interesting to see a gym with all the cardio equipment roped off with signs saying “do not use”. How’s that for an excuse not to exercise?

Who needs cardio equipment when you have a bike? After fixing my popped bike tire on Sunday, the wheels were back in full force by Monday and I was able to ride into the hospital all 5 days. On the “gym” days I would ride from the hospital down to the gym which is approximately 2.5 miles. That makes my round trip from the house to the hospital to the gym and back to the house about 6.1 miles and puts me at 24.8 miles for the week.

24.8 miles X $0.575 (IRS Mileage Rate) = $14.26 back in my pocket

Covered the cost of my new bike tube. Now I just need to find a way to calculate the health benefits of this little bike commute.

I actually bought 2, one as a backup

On to the 14th edition of Max’s Back Pocket.

Max’s Back Pocket

Over the last several years, I have absorbed a ton of great content from a lot of talented people in and around the internet. Several of those ideas even got drawn into my personal finance strategy. Some of these writers are professionals, but a lot of them are just amateurs throwing their weight around in a random niche. I like to think I am pretty good at the intersection of healthcare and personal finance, but there are plenty of people out there much smarter than me.

Up until now, most of these ideas just landed in my back pocket. There they would sit for my own benefit whenever I needed them. They were rarely shared or exchanged with anyone in my personal network. These days, that is no longer the case. Max will start scouring the entire internet for these ideas in a weekly effort to not only spread but recognize the wealth of knowledge that is out there. This weekly check-in will also give me an excuse to catch up on what’s going on around here more often. What are we calling this ridiculous idiomatic experiment?

Max’s Back Pocket

Personal Finance

I cleaned some skeletons out of my personal finance closet this week. A little motivation prompted me to get some work done on one of our retirement accounts. We have to take the good with the bad when it comes to saving for retirement. The bad usually comes in the form of fees from the account administrator.

I stumbled across a personal finance blog called Ocho Sin Coche. The brain behind that blog kindly reminded me that my “inaction” on one of our old 401(k) accounts was costing us some serious money. 401(k) Fee Drag is definitely a thing and once you leave an employer, it is really time to consider rolling over a 401(k) to an IRA. This is particularly true if your former employer is reaching into your pocket and taking your hard-earned cash.

Mrs. Max OOP has an old 401(k) from some work she did with a grocery store last year. It is worth about $10,000. Recordkeeping Fees, Other Recordkeeping Fees, and Administrative Fees clipped $81.14 of this account since she left that position. Here I am counting bike miles while her previous employer is offsetting all my work. That all came to an end Sunday when I rolled it over to our IRA. I should get a check for about $10,000 in the next few weeks and we will deposit/consolidate it into her Vanguard IRA. Unfortunately, the 401(k) is going to hit us with another $8.50 on our way out the door.

Now what I really want to know, what exactly does Ocho Sin Coche mean? I briefly googled it but didn’t get much back.


Things got interesting this week when I found out the Max Out of Pocket Blog is a 2020 HITMC Award Honoree. Max is up for the individual blog of the year. This award is given to the author of the best healthcare related blog of the past year. The blog must not be affiliated with any company. There will be an event on 6/30/2020 to announce the winner. You can register here if you are interested.

33 Charts

One of the blogs also being recognized is a blog called 33 Charts. I am doing some catch-up on this website; aka scoping out the competition : ). I like what I see. One thing nice is it offers some short reads on several different subjects. In a recent post called Telemedicine and Telehype, the author mentioned that although telehealth has leapfrogged now that some of the regulatory barriers have been removed, we should be cautious.

Our goal is not to figure out how all of our care can be delivered through a screen. Our goal is to figure out how we can use technology to optimize the journey and the experience for our children and their families. In the midst of the telehype it’s important to understand your mission. When you understand where you’re going you can begin to consider where the next tool fits into that mission.

Telemedicine and Telehype – BRYAN VARTABEDIAN, MD

33 Charts has a whole archive dedicated to telemedicine and I will be doing some catch-up on this. Perhaps they will be interested in my take on the billing: Telehealth Billing: Exposed!.

Not everyone wants their doctor to look like this guy.

The Healthcare Marketer

The other blog up for nomination is The Healthcare Marketer. The author, Dan Dunlop, recently reflected on 14 Years of Blogging About Healthcare Marketing.

I could only hope Max Out of Pocket is still around in 14 years. Mr. Dunlop has written more than 1,700 posts for the Healthcare Marketer Blog. That equates to 10 posts per month over 14 years. It looks like he lives down in North Carolina, not too far from my previous health system. He is clearly a leader in the industry and has tremendous experience in marketing.

I have a ton to learn from these two blogs.

Final Thoughts

Well, it’s been another productive week around here. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to any podcasts this week. Evidently, there are three new podcasts for me to check out and are also up for an award on June 30th:

Looks like Max has his work cut out for him. Happy Saturday.


4 Responses

  1. David says:

    Thanks for the shoutout! “Ocho Sin Coche” (or “eight without a car”) was my attempt at being clever to mark our family’s trip last fall to Spain. We were in Spain for 81 days from September to December, all on public transportation and never renting a car or taxi. I have six kids, so with my wife that makes eight. I really need to put up some sort of “about” page.

    Great job on the biking. With my gym closed I’ve been running more outdoors and hitting the local bike trails. Did 18.5 miles on the bike this morning over 40 more for the week.

    • Max OOP says:

      That sounds like an EPIC trip and logistically impressive with six kids! Yeah, get that “about” page up! The gym went well this week. Sore, but I appear to be bouncing back quickly. We have some nice mountain bike trails down the road from us, but I need to get a mountain bike because my hybrid just doesn’t cut it. I rented a really nice bike one weekend (I was told it was a $5,000 bike), it was awesome!

  2. Dragon Guy says:

    I just completed a rollover of my last employer’s 401(k). I had considered rolling it into the Solo 401(k) I just created for my self employment work, but I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t do a direct rollover (being two different providers). It was a decent amount and with the way the market has been moving, I didn’t want to have to be out of the market for a couple of weeks while I waited for a check to come to me, which I would then need to send to the new provider. So I just did a rollover into an IRA at the same firm where my 401(k) was with. Eventually, I can move that IRA into the IRA at my main brokerage account to get it all into one place (and I know with that one it can be done without having to send me a check).

    Interestingly, I had 33 cents of my 401(k) in Roth contributions. No idea how that got there. I wasn’t in the mood to create a separate Roth IRA for just 33 cents, so I took a distribution. Yes I will need to pay taxes and a 10% penalty, but I think I can handle the extra 3 cents penalty. 🙂

    I just replaced the tube on my bike as well. I am terrible with maintenance projects, so it was a huge victory for me!

    • Max OOP says:

      Yes, back tires are the worst! Nice work.

      I hope one day to have a Solo 401(k) as that would mean I am actually doing some self-employment work. That is a really good call on not messing around waiting for a check in this market. Could have had some really bad (or good) timing with something like that back in March.

      I generally like Fidelity, but Mrs. Max OOP’s main IRA (from her prior school) is with Vanguard so it made sense to move it and consolidate. My stuff is with Fidelity, her’s is with Vanguard, and now I have a third player called Lincoln Financial with this most recent job.

      Don’t spend your $0.30 all in one place. Have a good weekend!


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